Friday, November 11, 2011

Wilhoit Spring

Last Sunday we went in search of a mysterious little park on the edge of the Cascade foothills, near Scotts Mills. I found the park on google maps, but it doesn't appear on my paper map. My favorite kind of drive, wandering around beautiful back roads looking for a little treasure. We eventually found the tiny park, and frankly when we got there if it wasn't for a sign showing the location it would have felt like we were intruding into someone's yard. A small parking area was located just off of someone's driveway.

Once upon a time Wilhoat Springs was something of a resort. A hydrotherapy resort due to the mineral springs. This sort of place was quite the thing back in the day. Nothing much is left of the resort, part of a foundation, a hand pump (so you too can partake of the mineral spring if you so desire!), and the mineral spring itself.

A pleasant aroma of sulpher
Wilhoit Springs

There were a few trails, but the day was damp and cold so we weren't inclined to explore. The water had that distinctive sulpher odor. Terrible to taste, but rumour has it that it makes a nice pale ale.


  1. Bluekat,

    Looks, uh, very... relaxing. Be right there.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  2. Wow, what a great find. Imagine how busy it was back in the day.

    Nothing like the sulphur rotten egg smell to wake you up after your drive.

  3. Not sure I'd used the words lovely and sulfur smell in same sentence. :)

    The pictures of the water-soaked leaves turned out really nice!


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  4. Bluekat:

    I like to explore too and find places like these. lots of times I imagine what it would be like and what happened to all the former residents

    Riding the Wet Coast

  5. I love the color of the leaves. Does the red color come from the iron in the water? Are the springs warm?

  6. I, too, love the photos of the leaves. It is amazing how many resorts were built around mineral springs. Now they are mostly gone. Another reminder of how things change.

    Thanks for the share.

  7. Did you jump in for a soak? :) Nice colorful, lively pictures!

  8. Given the weather was far away from pretty, the colours are standing out. What an interesting find. I also like to discover these little gems of the past.

  9. Kari:
    What amazing photos - wish I had an eye for a great picture like these. We have quite a few mineral springs in NZ, ranging from undeveloped and free to really swish places which cost an arm and a leg!

  10. Hi Brady,
    Not sure about relaxing...I don't think it's a hot springs. I guess it would be nice in summer.


    Hi Trobairitz,
    Yes, that lovely smell. Ron's grandmother used to drink mineral water if she could get someone to collect some for her. I'll pass thank you.


    Thanks Dom,
    The water makes for pretty colors if not so good for drinking.


    Hi Bob,
    Yes, it would be interesting to know if any family members were still around.

  11. Hi Richard,
    Yes, I think the color comes from the minerals in the water. I didn't check the water temps, but I'm sure it was cold. Guess we should have checked :)


    Hi Keith,
    Yeah, these resorts were very popular in the day. Thanks


    Hi Ken,
    Thanks. lol - No we didn't jump in. It was only about ankle deep, and not heated. :)


    Hi Sonja,
    I think most of the fun is hunting down these interesting little gems!


    Hi Geoff,
    I know from reading and word of mouth that we have a few hot springs around. Many of them are kind of hidden away and you have to know were to find them.

  12. That's certainly countryside worth wandering in up there. Now I've got to know more about the pale ale thing. Did somebody get sulphur water in their beer and think it was good or something?

  13. Hi Irondad,
    Sorry, no juicy details on the ale, I'm just passing along the rumor. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :)

  14. Dear BlueKat:

    My sister owns a house on the Jersey Shore where the well produces a sulpherous odor to the water. She has spent thousands of dollars to get the mineral stink out of the water. I wonder if she knows legions of old rich people would pay a fortune to simmer in it.

    In my semi-native Adirondacks, there are two springs that attract hundreds of people each week, for the absolute freshness and tastelessness of the water. Have they got it wrong?

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  15. Jack
    Your sister should open a resort. :)
    You know...making lemonade out of lemons, or something like that.

    I don't get the attraction to mineral water, bottled water, spring water. In the end it tastes like the stuff that comes out of the kitchen tap. A hot springs for soaking, now that is a worthy attraction.

  16. Great place for pictures and the last two look good. I love exploring little known places too.

  17. Thanks George.
    I love finding these little treasures close to home. Something new that I wonder why I haven't stumbled across it on past adventures. Always fun to discover.